Recently, Northwest Mississippi College English instructors, Beth Adams and Doug Johnson completed the Invitational Leadership Institute for Teachers at the University of Mississippi Writing Project (UMWP).
Adams and Johnson were part a group of 10 educators from all disciplines who were invited to participate. UMWP, one of 200 National Writing Projects sites, serves a 17-county area of North Mississippi. Teachers in all grade levels and all subject areas in north Mississippi schools are eligible to apply for admission to the UMWP Invitational Leadership Institute.
According to the UMWP website, the institute “is at the core of the National Writing Project’s model of ‘teachers teaching teachers’ and develops teachers as leaders, teachers as learners, and teachers as writers.During each institute, teacher participants examine the most pressing issues related to the teaching and learning of writing across the curriculum. Participants demonstrate and reflect on their own best practices and strategies, and they study current research in the field.”
Johnson said that during the institute, they engaged in discussion groups, were required to demonstrate a classroom lesson and did a lot of writing. “We created an online portfolio for our work. We did the types of things we would want our students to engage in. We also got real feedback from other teachers,” Johnson said.
Both instructors received three hours of graduate credit as a result of their participation. They were required to work on an inquiry project that was research-based and had to be related to their teaching. “It was nice for us as colleagues to work on this together, and kind of nice to be a student again,” Adams said. “I’m much more empathic to my students because of this.”
Both Adams and Johnson were excited to be able to participate in the program and would encourage other teachers, and especially other Northwest instructors, to apply for the institute.
“It was a wonderful experience to come together with other teachers to get re-inspired,” Adams said. Johnson agreed, adding, “It was worth the time we spent, and it was a great experience.” They are looking forward to being a part of the University of Mississippi Writing Project teacher network, meeting with other members and even going back to present at future institutes.
“Beth and Doug are talented instructors, and they bring years of experience to their classrooms. They are teachers who strive to enrich their course content, teaching methods, and professional skills. Their participation in the summer writing institute will strengthen their commitment to their students,” said Dale Davis, director of Humanities Instruction.
For more information on the UMWP, visit their website at www.outreach.olemiss.edu. To learn more about Northwest, visit the website at northwestms.edu.
Pictured: Northwest Mississippi Community College English instructors Beth Adams and Doug Johnson recently completed the Invitational Leadership Institute for Teachers at the University of Mississippi Writing Project (UMWP). The UMWP is at the core of the National Writing Project’s model of ‘teachers teaching teachers’ and develops teachers as leaders, teachers as learners, and teachers as writers. (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)